Saturday, May 02, 2009

Natinal Joke


Paul here. Phil had something special planned for today, but it’ll have to wait, because there was a uni snafu for the ages last night in DC.

Actually, it was two snafus, because two Nats players — Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman — both had “Natinals” (note the missing “o”) on their jerseys.

Now, jersey typos are nothing new (I chronicled lots of them in an ESPN column a while back). But to my knowledge, this is the first time two players on the same team have sported typos in the same game, which surely qualifies as an unprecedented level of uni-ineptitude.

For those keeping score at home, the Nats are clearly leading the league in uniform miscues. On Monday, they sent Wilfredo Ledezma out on the field with an upside-down “N”; on Friday, they wore those blue clown suits with red helmets and sleeves; and now this. Good thing the team in our nation’s natin’s capital plays such solid ball on the field to make up for — uh, wait, never mind.

Both players switched to properly spelled jerseys during the game, but by then it was too late. The TV guys talked about it, two different Washington Post writers blogged about it, and it was even mentioned in wire service photo captions. Anyone know if it got the SportsCenter treatment?

I’ve already heard people saying things like, “Their seamstress should be fired.” But a team’s local stitcher doesn’t put the team insignia on the jersey — that’s Majestic’s job. Yo, Majestic people, I know a bunch of you read this site. So once you all stop shitting bricks and back-dating the paperwork to make it look like you didn’t work on the Nats’ jerseys, could someone please let me know how this could have happened? (Update: There’s a semi-explanation in the last three grafs of this item, but it still doesn’t explain how these jerseys got through Majestic’s quality-control process, or how the entire Nats team — including the clubhouse staff and Dunn and Zimmerman themselves — didn’t spot the problem.)

The best explanation comes from reader Cary O’Reilly, who writes: “When you consider that so many of Washington’s players and team personnel used to be with the Cincinnati Reds, it makes perfect sense — they’re the ’Nati-nals!”

The saddest part about this fiasco is that it overshadowed what should have been the uni story of the night: Josh Outman’s second start of the season. You’ll find a gallery of his magnificent stirrup stylings here.

(Big thanks to all who contributed pics and info from the Nats game, including David Raglin, Matt Kernan, Andrew Stebbins, Ari Cohen, Chad Dotson, David McGee, Bryan Mullican, Daniel Steinberg, Paul Soto, and of course Phil.)

Special Saturday Ticker: Big thanks to Tyler Kepner for writing about “I’m Calling It Shea” on his New York Times blog. … Major, major douchebaggery story out of Cleveland, where the City Stars (a USL soccer team) will be playing in Bedford High School’s Bearcat Stadium — except that it will be called Middlefield Cheese Stadium during City Stars matches. The good news is that Middlefield Cheese is a local operation, not a giant corporate monolith, but this is still completely ridiculous, especially at a high school facility, which should be as advertising-free as possible (with thanks to Chuck Nolan Jr.). … Dwayne White recently checked out the Ted Williams Museum at at the Trop and got shots of Teddy Ballgame wearing an unfamiliar uni number and an autographed baseball with an interesting history). … Did you know that members of two political groups in Thailand broadbast their affiliations by wearing red and yellow shirts? Fascinating. … Here are the track uniforms that the Japanese team will be wearing at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin (with thanks to, of course, Jeremy Brahm). … Most of you probably know that there used to be a minor league team called the Atlanta Crackers (not to mention a Negro League team called the Atlanta Black Crackers — one of my favorite team names ever). But check this out: Here’s reader Wallace Baine as a 1972 Little Leaguer. … Nick Adenhart wasn’t the only one who died in that car crash. The Mira Costa High School baseball team has added a memorial patch for 2002 grad Henry Pearson, who was in the car with Adenhart (with thanks to Matt Shevin). … Genius move by Brandon Yarian, who got this screen shot from the webcast of Friday’s Tribe/Yanks game. Five different team logos on the screen at one time! … Really interesting find by photo historian Dave Eskenazi: a cap that’s blank except for a letter on the brim. Never seen that before. The player is Charles Burke of the 1922 Vernon Tigers. … UCLA spring football news from Erkki Corpuz, who writes: “After an injury to senior TE Logan Paulsen, the coaching staff decided to switch OT Nate Chandler to TE, requiring him to change jersey numbers from 68 to 44. Now there’s a bit of confusion on the field, since the offense has two players wearing 44: Chandler and senior WR Alex Pearlstone. From the looks of Pearstone’s shorts, he might be the one asked to change his number when the real season starts.” … Excellent early-1980s softball stirrups here (with thanks to Jason A. Tirotta). … The Orioles’ solid-orange uni lives on — as a bobblehead (great find by Zevi Lowenberg). … Well, it’s good to know someone gets to wear the Mets’ blue cap and pinstriped jersey. That’s the new Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan. Anyone know why they gave him No. 10? … Kenny Crookston found this LP in a thrift shop. Note the logo patch. … Some guy attending yesterday’s Cubs/Cards game was wearing a collared dress shirt with a 1970s Cubs road jersey treatment, complete with a uni number on the back (as spotted by Tim Donovan). … “Last year for Christmas, I scanned my family’s slide collection,” says Barry Badrinath. “One picture, taken either in late 1986 or early ’87, shows of my brother’s old friends in a crazy striped Eagles hat. A buddy of mine thinks the hat was originally a giveaway at local MAB pain stores. I can’t confirm that, but it looks like there’s a sponsor’s logo on the left side of the hat.” … “I was at the Mets game on Wednesday,” says Thomas Carter. “The security staff for Citi Field are dressed in maroon. Many fans asked, ‘Why would they dress security in Phillies colors?’” … The TD Bankworth Garden in Boston is getting a shorter name (with thanks to John Muir).

posted by Paul Lukas on 04.18.09 @ 8:42 am

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